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In a world that expects women to take care of everyone else except themselves, and find validation and value in such self-negation, Felice Belle’s Viscera is an unflinching practice and declaration of defining oneself for oneself, with radical acceptance of the great, and challenging, consequences of doing so. Viscera is poetry for people who think they hate poetry—quirky, accessible and pop culture obsessed…for fans of 90 Day Fiancé and Ntozake Shange…an urban (self) love story for anyone who has ever felt like an other…a celebration of what Jonathan Lethem calls the “frivolous Now.”
Darrell Bourque’s poetry collection is a set of jazz-infl ected ghazals tied to epigraphs from Colum McCann’s award-winning novel Apeirogon and illuminated with Bill Gingles’ abstract expressionist paintings. Predominately rooted in the tragic losses in contemporary Israeli and Palestinian families, the poems braid those losses into parallel losses in geo-political race, ethnic, class, and caste conflicts.
“Blessed be sin if it teaches men shame,” wrote Georges Benanos. Sinnerman continues Michael Waters’ exploration of trespass as a mode of worship in poems that “delight in wit and wordplay” (The Gettysburg Review) and display “raucous devotion” while assuming “a divine erotic presence even in his more harrowing poems” (The Georgia Review). A fire escape, a fire hydrant, a father’s comb, the mosaic of a bull in an Italian shopping mall, a soul in flight—all assume resonance “that they may shine more darkly” in the light of Waters’ words. If sin is “seen as good once gone,” these poems weigh our attraction to transgression against our desire for forgiveness. Novelistic in depth and reach, elegiac in its embrace of the living and the dead, raw in its fraught vulnerability, and cunning in its explosive and tongue-delighting sound play, Sinnerman seems poised between the here-and-now and the invisible it invites and confronts.